Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Of Rock and Roll …… youth clubs and that tin hut on Withington Road

Now for some the story of the now vanished tin hut on Withington Road and nights listening to Rock and Roll in the local youth club will not stir the pot.*

The vanished tin hut, home to the Youth Club, 2015
But I am fascinated at how another tiny bit of our collective past has come to light, and in a way, which has nothing to do with dusty research.

I was in Etchells on Sunday evening looking for those essential bits, without which the evening meal can not be finished, and as I was picking the essentials off the shelf, Mike began a conversation about the old missionary building which featured in the new book on Chorlton’s places of worship.**

He regularly attended the youth club which took place in the building, and what he remembered most was the Rock and Roll which was played throughout the night.

It would have been sometime around 1958, because the following year he was called up do his National Service in the army and of course this was the music of the young.

In time he has promised to set down his memories of those evenings, but for now it is that chance encounter in Etchells which has set me off thinking about the small stories which are waiting to be rediscovered.

Some like Mike’s memories, add to what we know about a building, and in the process also reminds us that in the 1950s, and into the following decade, there was not much on offer for young people, many of whom didn’t have much in the way of spending power.

For them the youth club with its opportunity to get out of the house, meet people of the opposite sex and listen to the latest music, all of which was the highlight of the week.

And remained so until they were old enough to visit the pub and the local night club.

I wished I had met Mike before we included the missionary hut in the book, but I am always reconciled to that simple observation that there are always stories we miss first time round.

That said I bet Mike’s recollections will be shared by others and these will all make it into the revised edition.  In the meantime Chorlton-cum-Hardy – Churches, Chapels, Temples A Synagogue and a Mosque is available from us at http://www.pubbooks.co.uk/ or Chorlton Book shop, 506 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9AW 0161 881 6374

Pictures; Wellington Avenue Garage, formerly St Margaret’s Mission Room, 2015, from the collection of Peter Topping

*The gem on Wellington Avenue in Whalley Range and a story revealed, https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-gem-on-wellington-avenue-in-whalley.html

**A new book on the places of worship in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Chorlton Churches

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